|Review by WoodWorkWarrior||posted 09-22-2012 07:59 PM||12087 views||4 times favorited||14 comments|
My first shop was on the balcony of a small apartment – and it started with a Bosch jobsite table saw. A worthy table saw for my first, but finally last year I decided to get serious with my shop and after much research, purchased a Grizzly G0715P Hybrid table saw.
First Impressions – excitement! From jobsite saw to a 2HP, cast iron top, full size table, I couldn’t be happier. After initial assembly and alignment I couldn’t wait to make some cuts. The saw did not disappoint! There were a couple issues that I found as I put stuff together, I’ll get into those shortly.
After a Year – Still a great saw, but I’ve found that to get the accuracy I wanted I had to start getting some aftermarket accessories. I’ve upgraded the miter gauge to an Incra 1000SE. I also want to upgrade the fence as it’s the one aspect of the saw that I’m disappointed with. Overall though, I love it and I’m glad I bought it.
Here’s some detail on my experience with the Grizzly G0715P
Ordering and Shipping
When I originally inquired using Grizzly’s online system, it showed that this saw wouldn’t be available for 6 months! After calling customer service, they promised one within a month and it actually came in 3 weeks. It shipped freight and arrived in good condition. No problems with packaging. Truck driver even dollied it around into the ally for me where my garage is.
Unpacking and setup was a chore because I did it all myself. The saw is heavy! I purchased the Shop Fox mobile base as I have a small shop and have to push the saw to the side when not in use. Assembling the mobile base was easy. I used a combination of levers, gravity, and brute strength to get the cabinet onto the mobile base (I actually built the mobile base around the cabinet then levered the cabinet up on each side as I closed the base around the cabinet).
Attaching the wings was also a bit of a challenge with one person, but doable. Each wing required one strip of tape to tilt the wings level with the saw table. The overall surface is really flat, probably within .005”.
Assembly of the fence rail system and fence itself was strait forward. Be sure to note though that once the fence rail tube goes on, you can’t remove the bolts that attach the front rail to the saw table. Future accessories (like a built in router table) would require removal of the rail tube.
The blade and miter slots came aligned almost perfectly. I didn’t bother trying to make it better. It was within the .001” that my dial gauge could measure. The fence rail tube and fence were pretty strait forward, although it took awhile because of an issue with the way the fence locks to the rail tube…there was a lot of movement of the fence when locked. More on this later. I was able to aligne the locked down fence within a few thousands (the fence face itself varies in profile about .005”).
The miter gauge is very simple, although there is a little slop in the miter slot. It quickly squared to the miter slot.
The build quality, with the exception of the fence, is great. Most of these saws are built in the same factory in China…but some companies have better quality control, Grizzly seems to be one of them. Machined surfaces are flat, materials are solid, assembly is tight.
This is the one real gripe I have about this saw. The fence is a Beisemeyer style fence sliding on a large front rectangular rail tube. The fence uses set screws in the front, back, and top. The front and top set screws have lock nuts. They each have a nylon face that runs along the front rail.
The back setscrews push against a flexible metal strip that has nylon pads on either end. The problem with this fence is that the flexible metal strip (a single piece across the length of the inside of the fence along the fence rail tube) is twisted. The result is that when the fence is adjusted to run smoothly along the rail tube, clamping it down causes the metal strip to untwist thus changing is squareness to the table. I could have lived with a very small movement (tough to get away from on any saw), but this problem causes the far end of the fence to swing almost an 1/8 of an inch! See the image below to see the twist in the metal strip.
I was able to align the fence in the locked position and it’s very repeatable, but I can’t use the distance from the blade to the fence when the fence is unlocked to judge distance. It makes lining up a cut by a marked line difficult. I tend to rely on the fence rule (I’ve got it pretty accurate, with 1/64”). Love the saw, but I’ll be replacing the fence when I can.
I asked Grizzly about this and they ended up replacing the fence for me…however there was still a little bit of twist in the same metal strip. The conditions improved slightly, but still not adequate for a final solution.
One of the main reasons I wanted to move up to a full size table saw (not a portable jobsite saw) was the miter slots. Cast aluminum simply cannot be held to tolerances tight enough for precision work, and that’s what the jobsite saw has. The milled miter slots in cast iron of the full size saws, like this one are key. That said, the miter slots on this saw are top notch. Precision ground, flat, and strait. You couldn’t ask for better.
The included miter gauge works…but I chose to go with other accessories. I use an Incra 1000SE for the most part, a great miter gauge. I also built myself a miter sled – a must for cutting small parts. My sled has a myriad of clamping options which really opens up the versatility of the table saw for cutting small parts.
Blade and Riving Knife
I bought a Freud blade right away, in fact I bought a ripping blade and a fine pitch tooth blade (60 teeth). Blades are the one thing that make the biggest difference…so I didn’t want to start out with a stock blade on a “fancy” new saw. I have the stock blade set aside for operations that I don’t want to use my $$ blades for…like cutting aluminum or other dulling materials. The freud blades work great. Changing blades is a breeze, even dado blades. Repeatability between blade changes so far is excellent (as long as the blade curf is the same thickness!)
The riving knife was a new feature for me…but one that I must say I never will go without ever again. It adds a magnitude of safety improvement for cutting ops. Pulling the riving knife out is easy, it’s just a spring loaded latch. You don’t have to remove it to change blades, however I remove if often for dado blade setups.
Using the Saw
220V, 2HP! Cut’s like a hot knife through butter. The combination of a flat table, aligned miter slots, a thin curf blade, and a square fence make cutting easy and much safer than a jobsite saw that tries to just power through. Nickle test worked like a charm. Granted, my only experience was with a jobsite saw (and my dad’s Delta contractor saw that I learned on – a nice saw for sure), so moving up always makes cutting easier and safer. After over a year of use I’m still very happy with the way the saw cuts. It’s still aligned as good as the day I set it up.
At first I just let the dust pile up inside. The cabinet construction by design keeps dust to a minimum. Then I hooked up my shop vac to it and it worked pretty well. Recently though, I purchased a Grizzly dust collector. The combination keeps dust down very low. I’m very pleased. I only have to content with a very small amount of dust that gets flung from the blade. One of these days I’ll make a dust collector/blade gaurd setup and cut the dust down to almost nothing. In the mean time, the cabinet style makes this a pretty “clean” saw.
Would I recommend this saw…”YES”! Despite the flaw of the fence, I couldn’t find anything else that met the feature set and quality for the money (there were other saws that came close). I really like Grizzly, and until I can afford to buy the big time American made machines, I’ll gladly support Grizzly.